Third Test Paddle

A project log for A Plywood Canoe

I built this canoe 10 years ago. It was fun but various design flaws has limited it use. This project is about a salvaging the canoe.

agp.cooperagp.cooper 06/12/2017 at 12:310 Comments

Third Test Paddle

After cutting off the rear cross-beam I went for a third test paddle. This time I paddled to a near by bridge and back again (2.8 km return). I am far from being a young, fit and an experienced canoeist, took me 39 minutes or 4.3 km/hr. The canoe hull speed 8.5 km/hr (you would need an outboard motor to go any faster!), so plenty of room for improvement. My target is 6 km/hr so I need to do it in 28 minutes. It will take me a while to get to this speed no doubt.

The weather in Perth Western Australia even in winter is mild the average maximum is about 19 degrees C in June. Today it was 19 degrees C when I arrived and about 22 degrees C when I left. The down side is that the UV index down here is pretty extreme. You need to acclimatise to the sun or you will get burnt to a crisp!

Here is the latest picture of my canoe:

Here is a closeup of the cutoff rear cross-beam:


The canoe weathercocks quite badly when paddling into the the wind (what little there was!). four strokes to one. Downwind it tracks quite well. I need to fix this. One option is a small skeg to increase the tracking (at the expense of maneuverability). A trimming rudder is another option but best to keep it simple if I can.

Splash Canopy

Another must is a splash canopy (I think it is called a spray cover or spray deck). Not very cool to get in dry and get out soaked because of drips from the paddles. I am thinking of a tilt up frame that would look like this (crowned at the rear):


Buoyancy Tanks

I need to consider buoyancy tanks. In the event of a capsize (really?), I can up right the canoe by tying a rope the pontoon (handle), standing on the upside down canoe hull and pulling it over:

He says "Give it a try - it is easier than you would think."


Fourth Paddle

Had a fourth paddle and managed 5 km/hr but really I need focus on paddle technique and increasing my back flexibility (I am lucky to touch my knees!).


My partner is using my car for a few days so I am stuck at home. So I added a skeg to to the canoe. No science to this, just approximately what I have seen before:

I used a hot air gun to strip the paint before fixing the skeg. The primer is really tough to get off so I did not try too hard (its not going to debond easily). I have fixed the wood with mould preventer and will use some fiber-glass tape toughen it up for scrapes before repainting.

Cross Beam Failure

Failed in torsion (probably failed during transport while on the trailer):


I should have fibre-glassed the joint when I had the chance. This will take time to fix as I have to detach all the joints, sand the surfaces back to wood and start again. But after I work out what to do.

Regards AlanX